This is your page. In other words, simply click on the link below to send me an email, or short story. Tell me what's on your mind. Try not to be so hurtful. Just keep in mind, that any email, and or letter I receive, could be posted on this page. But keep this in mind as well, I will answer most with a short reply. And don't worry. I will NOT post your email address, but I will post part of your name. After all, that's only fair. However, if you really want to remain anonymous, I'll grant your request. Send me your thoughts, praises, complaints or well wishes...I'd be happy to hear from you.
Click here- Dropping In On Ralph! Be sure to leave your name and State. Thanks.


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September 30, 2010

Hi Ralph, I remember you mentioning once in your blog that colder waves just felt heavier than warmer tropical waves but you couldn't find any evidence to prove your theory.  This excerpt from Susan Casey's, The Wave, should lend some support to your cold water conundrum.  Here she's describing Mavericks:

"The water temperatures hover in the low 50s, making everything harder -- literally. Cold water has a higher viscosity. It is like liquid pavement, compounding the brutality of a fall. Frigid temperatures also make it tougher for surfers to relax, to paddle, to hold their breath underwater, to keep their extremities from numbing."

Read more:

-Dan H

Thanks Dan that was interesting...I guess we'll be feeling that thicker water soon enough...oh boy.

September 30, 2010

Actually, I don't like it, but what're ya gonna do? Some guys just don't 'get' the internet...
Say what?

September 28, 2010

Only 10 feet! Thought you’d get a kick out of this. Hope you’re well. Hope Max is enjoying Endicott Football. A couple of junior year players played high school with my son Robert (Justin Burrell and Chris Gogolos).
Imagine playing college football?

Catch up with you later. I want to talk to you about some old 8mil movies I have from my Navy day’s that I want to put on dvd. You do that stuff, right?


Thank you Chris. Yes I do that sort of thing.

September 28, 2010


I just wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you. For what might you ask? For having such a cool site that is open to the surfing guru’s (such as myself) to enjoy. So, for that, I thank you!
Kindest Regards,

Sean D

Thank you Sean. I do appreciate the kind words.

Looks like more waves coming too!

Best regards,


September 27, 2010

Good stuff as always! I wish you had been at rye later that day, I got
some serious 360 time I'm my new foam creations.  Lars was testing one
that morning and we have found the most fun board ever!    I have
officially filled my hard drives after these last swells, I can't
believe it.....


Those freaking boards you guys ride are nuts.

September 26, 2010

Hey Ralph incredible empty wave water shots AWESOME!!


Thanks Skip.

September 26, 2010

Hi Ralph.  I stumbled on your site looking for shots of the recent hurricanes, thanks Google, and found your site.  Really fun and, as I grew up in York Beach Maine, It made me jones for the great after Labor Day surf.  I loved your site, especially as I have a conditions blog concerning Snow Bird Utah, where I have lived for 35 years now.  I can be found there 6 days a week and have developed a grasp of  the subtle nuances of such a vast area.  Please check it out at, especially if you are storm chasing the POWDER swell and are coming to Utah.  Please look me up in case you do show up, as I am not hard to find.  Your site gave me much food for thought as to better illustrate the real time conditions and experience, whcih you site does admirably.  Get some waves for me as my paddling chops are toast.  Peace Out,  Powers

Thanks for the kind words David. And thanks for the invite out west. I won't be going anywhere this winter though. I'm involved in a 365 consecutive Surf Fundraiser. Check it out.

But the winter of 2012 is a whole other story. I'll check out your site. Thanks again for the props.


September 25, 2010

Hey Ralph,

Hope you got some good waves and shots this weekend as Igor was very much alive. I've attached a handful of the many shots from the weekend, a few shot by myself and the rest by my buddy Phil D with my camera. Any of the ones that I'm in (I'm riding the 10' white longboard) were shot by him as I'd like to give him credit (may actually be all the shots). Can't wait to see what shots you and everyone else got last weekend!

Mike S

Thank you for sending thes.

September 24, 2010

Laird on his SUP vs Slater on a surfboard?  No question.  Slater hands down.  Laird can do some damn impressive stuff on a SUP, but it's a SUP (no offense to anyone who rides them...they can be a fun change of pace).  I shot a SUP charging 20-foot waves at the Wedge last year...crazy, impressive, full of that wow-factor.  But when you break it down, it's really just a big board...the likes of Greg Noll, Gerry Lopez, etc. were surfing big waves on big boards decades ago.

Now if you were asking more generally of Slater vs. Laird...thats definitely a tougher question.  

In contest surfing, Slater wins that hands down.  But they've both exhibited an uncanny ability to read and surf waves.  Laird's first ride at Teahupoo...Slater's beyond-human ability to surf anything (wave or board) with the utmost smoothness and grace, to his progression/advancement of surfing technique and popularity.  Counter that with Laird charging big waves/tow-ins, his SUP, and that seated surfboard-hydrofoil thing he created a few years is he the better waterman?  Is he more rounded?  Or does Slaters pure surfing ability surpass even that?

Can't wait to see the Igor column!

The truth is I think they are both uniquely special. I just don't get the SUP in real waves.

September 24, 2010


Thanks for the support; it's always meant so much to me. (I hope you noticed the mention of the Vinny Band in my last Winding Stream blog post!)  

I will keep you updated.  Actually making a lot of headway lately on the film after years of inertia.  Don't know whether it's me or subtle shifts in the entertainment biz or just the universe saying, "It's time, dammit!" but I feel like I will have this done in the next year.  Whew.  A winding stream indeed.

Beth Harrington West Coast
(Producer/filmaker) for the Johnny Cash and Carter Family Story

I did see the mention of the Vinny Band in your piece and I was very happy to think that we meant that much to you back then. I was honored to be mentioned with those other bands.
Thank you for that Beth.

September 24, 2010

Ralph, I had to laugh at your update've seen people wearing hoods lately?   I can't say I have-- and i'll put it off as long as possible -- but I did manage to witness something astounding a couple weeks ago. A winnebago pulls up, all retrofitted so it can carry surfboards. Seeing the surf RV, stickered up and  turned surf mobile road warrior, one would normally think: "Wow, these guys are the real deal!" Cool right? Wrong.

Even with my little experience, I can tell something is amiss as I unstrap my board from the roof of my car and talk to a new friend who made the drive down from vermont to catch some of Danielle's early waves. What do i notice? Bungie cords. And then, to put the nail in the coffin -- out steps a couple guys with not only booties and gloves on -- but trunks over the wetsuits.  I've heard you mention these fabled creatures before in a previous blog post but I thought nothing of it. Either way, I try not to be one to judge -- but seriously? .

New Hampshire, gotta love it.


Pretty funny stuff Mark. They are out there. I see em all the time.
It's all good, as long as no one hurts anyone.

September 23, 2010

Every time something F'ed up happens, I think of you.  Why is that?  This time is was a tornado crushing my neighborhood.  Check out my photos and get in touch when you have a chance.  I turned 40 this year and I miss the old days.  That's F'ed up too!


New York

WTF? That is some kind of weird ass Wizard Of Oz Bullshit! Damn...I hate seeing old trees get uprooted like that. Those old trees having withstood all those years of harsh winters ,and other storms ,and then that Twister set down near the city like that? Dude that is messed up. Did anyone get hurt? Or worse?

You turned 40? Big f-ing deal! Freaking 40...that's nothing. We need to catch up. Lots of stuff going on in our world. Are we Facebook friends?  I've been writing a weekly blog for seven years and just started a daily blog in July. I'm surfing everyday for a year again. This time in memory of a little 5 year old girl named Molly. I'll fill you in.

Meanwhile if you want to get caught up call me.

September 22, 2010

Hey Ralph,
You can make even me look decent! Thanks for the pic! My 14 year old daughter Liz, who also surfs with me at Jenness, loved it too.   I was just relieved to find it was not the BDI of the week!

What a day. That was the last session that board of mine saw. Later, it snapped just above the fin on the shore break. I flew out to Jax Florida that afternoon to see my brother who was expected to have little time left before he died. I was there 2 weeks and am so thankful to have spent that time with him and family. You know how important it is to say the things that can't be said later. He passed away proped up against me with his wife of 54 years and loved ones there. BTW, like you, he was also a Marine and they performed the flag ceremony at his service.

I'm forwarding that pic to fam in Jax!

3 John 2

Norm M


I am truly sorry to hear of your brother's passing. But happy to hear that
you made his transition a smooth and comforting journey.

There was an old saying about Marines going to heaven. And that is, the
gates of Heaven are guarded by Marines.

..And when you die and go to heaven, to the Lord you will report: "Another Marine
reporting for duty sir, I've served my time in hell."

Semper Fi to your brother


September 22, 2010


I thought I'd sent you this email on Monday, but I just realized I definitely did not!  Attached are some images from the Hurley Pro down at Trestles.  (If you want any more, let me know...I have hundreds).  After 3 lay-days, some killer over-head surf filled in.  Kelly Slater just owned it, cruising through to the finals, where he bested Bede Durbidge in a heat where both surfers posted 9 point waves!  Quite an awesome contest to watch.
Ben California

Thanks Ben per your usual work, these are outstanding. And once again historic.
I have an ALL IGOR column going up this weekend but I'll preview your stuff for
next week.

*Funny I just got into a heated discussion about Slater.
Some SUP guy was saying that Laird is better on his SUP than Slater is on his boards.
I of course said that Laird can't hold a candle to what Kelly can do.

Are you with me on this?


Scratch what I just said. I'm running these this week,
They are too good to sit on...

September 21, 2010

Notice you always blast surf kayakers………why is this?

Steve C.

You want the long version or the short? I'll give you the short. 90% of the guys that
Kayak around here to not adhere to the Surf etiquette or code of honor and respect. 

I personally don't have problems with Kayaker's in general, unless there was an incident involving me. Same with SUPS.

SUPS and YAKS can go anywhere out there. Yet, they choose to SUP and YAK among
the surfers.

So let me ask you Steve, Why is that?

Because that’s where the breaks are, silly! LOL!

I’ve been kayak surfing close to 30 years yet just paddling out at my home break, some clown flips me off and tells me to “Get the F@*&k outta here.” Or some such…don’t give me that “honor and respect” crap. It’s earned, not automatic. Get used to us, buddy, we ain’t going away.

Steve C.

That guy was obviously a dick head. As far as YAKS & SUPS being around?
Well, I'm used to it. Believe me, I am used to it. And as I've said, there are rules.
And they are for everyone, regardless of what you ride. Spongers, Surfers, Yakkers
and the latest fad SUP'rs.

You know what I'd love to see and shoot on video is, a SUP & YAK battle.
Now there's a YouTube viddy if there ever was one. Paddle against paddle

I like that idea. Believe me, Ralph, years in the surf, I can count the ‘episodes” on one hand. I’m a “rules guy”, fair and square. Is it me or are there a lot more surfers, a lot more who just surf in fair weather/weekend warrior types? I think so and some of them don’t know the rules. You site showed it 3 on a wave dropping in.  Shit, SUP are now on rivers! That ought to make some waves! LOL! Some time back I e-mailed you about a yakker blatant drop grinding Lenny’s feet and lots of shouting and pointing(it was funny) That yakker is a COMPLETE ASSHOLE, known him for years, left threatening notes on his windshield here at the Point…guys like that ruin things for us all.

And you commentary on the Ct murder case..I’ll buy the rope to string’em up.

Take care


September 20, 2010


I am back on the grid. Hope this isn’t a case of too little too late but I finally have the Earl photos up

Its been a strange Circus ride ever since British Telcom cut the internet cable to the race track and things just got even weirder from there.

I am back home hoping to shoot some Igor

Hope all is well with you, sorry for the huge delay


Better late than never Ed...

September 20, 2010

Hi - I was out yesterday mid-day and saw someone snapping pics.  A buddy of mine had just gotten out and I caught a fun long right on my way in - he told me the guy with the camera seemed to have captured a few shots... a lot of breaks i've surfed the guys taking pics will post them online and sell them if you like what you see - do you do that? any idea if there is someone in the area that does? would be pretty pumped to track down a few shots.  Thanks for any help

D Smith

That might be hard to do...I'll ask around.

September 20, 2010

Dear Ralph –

I have talked to World News about your surf-a-thon and the money you are raising, and they have expressed some interest in this story!

They don’t want to do it right away because they recently did a similar story – so they want to let a few months go by.

The good news is that gives us some time to get video of you again, and again, and again.. surfing the waves.

We would like to arrange to send you a small FLIP camera to record your trips to the water.  It doesn’t have to be every day.. maybe a few days a week – or if there is especially high waves or poor weather.  Often you might need someone to tag along to take the video- or you could also experimenting with filming yourself by placing the camera strategically on the beach..  You should also feel free just to talk into the camera with any comments about the day that you care to make. My producer (who I have copied on this e-mail) might be able to give you some ideas.

How does this sound to you?

Please let us know!
Thanks so much.


( I can’t find emails for Molly’s parents – so if you could let them know that we hope to do a story down the road that would be great.

That sounds great Lisa. Anything we can do to get help to these families of children with cancer is great. I can shoot footage no problem. I'll also contact the parents of Molly. This will be good. Especially in the colder winter months.
Thanks again for your interest.

September 19, 2010

My name is Sean H. and I was wondering if you made print out pictures from your weekly pictures. I noticed that I was in 3 of your pictures. One from 3-31-2010 Ed 2.jpg, the second one was Dec 3-2009 Ed O'Connell 6.jpg , and the third one was Ed-3-1-10--5.jpg. They are really great photos and would love to get print outs of them! Thank you very much!
Sean H.

Thanks Sean just contact Ed for a price list and print.

September 16, 2010

I read your write up about 9/11 and I hope that everyone who visited your page took the time to read and reflect on what you had to say, it was a fantastic article!

I'm sure you are looking forward to this Igor swell as am I. I'll see you out in the water this weekend.


Thanks John...and thanks again for your service Semper Fi brother.

September 15, 2010

I spoke to Roy last week and mentioned you. Apparently he met you at a recent event. He didn't figure you'd remember him as he said there were so many people meeting other people. Who knows who doesn't matter, it's what you people are doing that matters. My hats off to all of you. I was a little young to be in the draft but my older brother was in the Air Force in Thailand during Vietnam. The Air Force allowed him to avoid a draft # that would have probably put him in the infantry. He was a munitions specialist who loaded and fused bombs during the infamous carpet bombing campaign. Then they were made to watch the footage and get told what a fine job they were doing. Fine in who's opinion I'm not sure. My dad was a radioman in WWII flying as sub spotters in the  N. Atlantic, Mediterranean, off Africa, S. Pacific. You name it. Didn't see his 1st child, my older sister until she was almost 2. While neither were physically injured, they both were and are permanently affected. Being a recovering alcoholic I see so many people who were and are emotionally affected by their service.
  Thank you so much for your contribution. If you get out to see Jeff any time I'd love to thank you in person. Take care and God Bless, Kirk  (California)

Thanks Kirk, we all carry the demons of war with us. The key is to keep it in check.

September 15, 2010

thank you so much, Ralph. You certainly bring me comfort with the caring and attention you lend not only to our sons but the families as well. Please extend my gratitude to the members of the Legion who contributed to this warm, wonderful evening. Yes, being with the other families, the ones I already know and then the new ones, helps us to connect with the emotions we all share. Thank you again. I count you as "friend," 

Love & peace, Jean

Gold Star Mother NH

Thank you Jean, we think of you Moms the same way.

September 14, 2010

Dear Ralph,
I thought of you as I was sending that email to my parents (we share a very special bond on Sept 11th bc I was supposed to be in the city that day starting a new internship downtown, but I decided I wanted just one more day with my dad in York, ME  (truth be told I was terrified of the big bad city and just wanted one more day to be a kid)
I look forward to the day we can meet in the near future and I can show you some of the footage I have gathered at the adaptive surf clinics this summer. I have to say- all the way down in Nantasket, MA there were some friendly surfers who asked me if I knew Ralph Fatello. I said I have had the honor of being your pen pal !  Anyways- you would be especially proud that I hooked up the GO PRO HD cam to one of the surf boards- gave it to me friend Greg- a marine corps vet- just 21 years old- who lost his arm- and I'll be damned if Greg's footage on the tiny GO PRO did not beat the Sony EX3 I shot with on land! Boo ya!
Here is one of my favorite's from your blog- (Sept 13th)
"The funny thing about surfing everyday is, I don't really think about how good the surf might get. I mean, I'm going out no matter what. I just check the tides and the size to determine which board I'm going to ride."
That's how you have to look at life. You can't just go out there when you're "perfect" (or you will be waiting a life time) and you can't NOT go out there just because someone says it's not going to be a good day. Courage is going out there regardless of the surf report and finding your own waves to ride (and in my case, whether you even know how, or not).
So I made a promise to Greg, Louis, Peter, and the other Vets I have had the honor of meeting/ making friends with this month, that  if they could learn to surf and "rip it" then I could get over my intimidation factor and get out there and do it too. Thus it begins.
  I am happier knowing there are human beings out there like you. Gives me hope.
With Gratitude,

Sounds like you are on the right track in life. Can't wait to see your surf footage.

I remember going to Trinity Church with Mom and Dad just blocks away from my dorm, just blocks away from Ground Zero.
We will never forget.
With Gratitide and Love,

Thank you for sharing.

September 12, 2010

    I just recieved my October issue of Surfer Magazine... On page 40 there is a copy of a Surf Etiquette Violation Notice that they made up listing surfing violations... I think we should have these printed and hand them out.. Check it out!!!  I think its a great idea.... Or just to enlighten  some of these people

Thanks for pointing that out. See I'm on the same page as the big guys.

September 10, 2010


I follow your blog weekly since I love to surf at the Wall or anywhere to be exact - when I am not working, raising my family or getting yelled at by my wife (never happens J). Anyways, I was reading your weekly blog, hoping to see some great pics (as usual) of some great surfing and I almost choked on my sandwich, when I saw your pic -  Hurricane Danielle BLATANT DROP IN. Well that was me – the Plantiff that is! I truly was bummed out at that dude who dropped in on me. I was thinking of some choice words or actions in my head when I came to the resolution – well, just go get another wave.  Granted, I wasn’t clearly disappointed as you were when the Soft Top Boarder ruined your wave of the month/year. Anyways, thanks for being the Judge and Jury out there, posting some pics and writing some great articles. I hope to see you out in the water during our next swell!


Tom B.

Thanks for writing Tom and you are welcome on my calling out the perp who dropped in on you in the water
. It's the least I can do. GUILTY!!!!

September 10, 2010

If you happen to be watching Red Sox vs. Oakland tonight Tony and Liz are about 14 rows from third base.
I am the guy with the Red Sox hat on.(like about 1/2 the stadium LOL)
October will be 15 years since I moved here .Can you believe it?
We must never forget Sept 11 2001... lost my friend Rob Hayes.
Peace and Love

Amen brother.

September 9, 2010

    I read your wave of the day rant and although you make a great point about a new surfer being out in large waves it comes off real bad. You sound like one of those territorial surfers who says if you cant surf then don't get in the water.   Again I agree with your point and had a similar situation last Sunday with the wall being jam packed and people dropping in on everyone. But isn't surfing to be enjoyed by all? This guy admittedly wants to learn and although it is by no means your job t teach would it not have been better to say "Ok come over here with my friends and I am watch us and how we do it" rather than yelling at him to go to the beach? Case and point had you invited him to join you and your fellow experienced surfers he would not have dropped in on your friend AND you would have educated one more "kook" or "Newbie" to not do idiotic things like drop in on someone or sit in a wave like a deer in headlights.  Inconsiderate and uneducated surfers are indeed a nuisance and can cause problems but rather than banish them to the shore why not help them. Although this guy did ruin a great wave there will be another, you did not get hurt and your board suffered no damage. Thats the great thing about surfing there is always another wave on the horizon and that is what keep us coming back day after day.  Its a basic instinct to get upset when someone drops in or ruins a wave but cooler heads always prevail so lets all enjoy the water together and be respectful and helpful. 

I enjoy reading your website so thank you for writing.

Ryan D.


You obviously missed my point completely. If this were a three foot day, I would NOT have said a single word. Or, I might be more helpful, and suggest he take a lesson. But this was not a 3 foot day. Far from it. This was the peak of the  Hurricane Swell. There were legitimate 6-8' sets pushing through the Wall on Saturday. My son was out there, as were others I know and respect. That individual was both a danger and a hazard to all of us, including himself.

He could of killed someone.

And you wanted me, to take him under my wing, and have him hang around me, and have him watch me and my friends surf??? Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME???

This would be the equivalent of someone stuck on the side of a mountain during a white-out, and asking some experienced climbers "how do I do this?" Or in a combat situation, where a team of experienced special forces were engaged in combat, and someone who has zero training, and had not even been to boot camp, ask "what should I be doing?"

Maybe I should of invited him home for dinner too? Or given him a place to stay..."here you go my friend, feel free to sleep here tonight. You can store your "Soft Top" out in the garage next to Big Black." What the hell are you saying here?

There is no accountability anymore. Zero. No one gives a shit. I think I'm as upset at you, as I am at the idiot who found himself out in Hurricane surf. That guy had NO BUSINESS being out in those waves. NONE. You were not there. You have no idea what almost happened. I did him a favor by telling him to go to the beach. I would of saved him from another dangerous situation.

You have got to earn the right to surf Hurricane waves. EARN IT. Not walk into a shop and buy a soft top, and paddle out where ever you feel like. That's BS. It takes years to get good and learn the ropes. Paddling out into Hurricane surf with experienced surfers is not the ticket. That guy was years away from being able to surf those waves. Years. He was a beginner out in serious surf.

If this same situation would happen to me tomorrow, I'd do the same thing. ONLY LOUDER. Or maybe, I'd run his stupid ass over, if it was the same guy. Because at that point, he'd need to understand the danger he put himself and all of us in.

Thank you for reading my column. And I do mean that.

Keep surfing.


THIS (below) WAS THE SECOND EXCHANGEI was up at Rye on Saturday and saw the waves so I know how large they were and you are right a beginner had no place out there.
*I was talking about The WALL! The surf was way bigger at the WALL
.  I remember when I was learning I always surfered the breaks no one else was surfing as I did not want to ruin a wave for someone who knew what they were doing and I didn't want to cause a collision. Even now I would prefer to ride a less than perfect break than deal with the crowds at the wall who surf the main break. I literally saw 6 people drop in on the same wave simultaneously on Sunday, it was a shit show out there anytime anyone caught a wave they had to weave their way through the crowd. *Sunday was a joke compared to Saturday.
It was one quarter the size
I wouldn't really expect you to take a guy like that under your wing but I just dont think going off on the guy is the right thing. *Please don't be offended Ryan, but I don't care what you think. I waited a lifetime for a wave like that at the Wall. That idiot almost got himself killed, and ruined a wave that I would of remembered the rest of my life.
I have found the surf community in NH to be pretty good, with the exception of a couple groups everyone seems to be generally excited to be in the water and open to people of all skill levels which is great. *Only when the surf is small are the beginners tolerated.
When it gets big, it's a different story.

I completely understand your anger but I also cant stand the elitist attitude some people have of "I've been surfing the wall for 20 years and you just started so Im more entitled" which is what I got more from the end of your post when you talk about painting people according to skill level. *Again, I don't care that you feel that way. It's called RESPECT Ryan. RESPECT. I have been surfing since 1964. Do the Math. I've waited a lifetime for a wave like that "WAVE OF THE DAY!" Don't you dare tell me it's just a wave and there's always another one coming...that BS! That wave was 46 years in the making. That guy had NO BUSINESS being out there.   I know that was an exaggeration as well and I imagine when writing you want to instill your emotion into the word as a compelling and interesting article typically has emotion rather than simple facts.  I was not trying to pick a fight or disparage you at all I just felt the article comes off a bit harsh. *Good. Then my mission was accomplished. I wanted it to be harsh. I want beginners to READ and Learn.  Especially coming from someone who seems to have genuine concern for other people and who seems to love surfing.*SEEMS to have a genuine concern for other people? SEEMS to love surfing?  Scratch that Mission Accomplished statement. Apparently I have NOT Accomplished my message. If you read my column as you say you do, and you can't figure out whether or not I have concerns for others, or that I love surfing, than I am failing. Failing miserably.

Look on the bright side now that the summer heat is gone most of the inexperienced people will not brave the cold water and air so the waves will open up and there will be less drop ins and people in the way. *That used to be true. Not anymore. There will always be those who just don't get it out there. The shops should be REQUIRED to hand out a RULES & SKILLS Handbook with each wetsuit and board they sell. It should be required reading for every new surfer. And there should be repercussions for those who don't adhere to those rules. Serious repercussions.



September 9, 2010

Sitting in the airport - waiting to jump on a flight to Orlando for work - and catching up on the daily Molly blogs.  Pretty epic!  Even the Cove has been pretty much flat the past few mornings at low tide...

Some days I only get my feet and ankles wet.

September 9, 2010


Here is Coach Snow Sunday at S------ry!
Do you have the shot of Max dropping me from Saturday?

Max who?

September 9, 2010


Greetings from Santa Pod Raceway in England. Been checking your daily blog, sorry to hear of all the bad news you have been recieving.

I have all my Earl photos from last Saturday with me, and hope to have them up on the Picassa site for you to use if this sketchy internet connection allows.

Hope the news you recieve gets better today, see you next week.

Ed (in Great Britian)

SPC O'Connell:

I had you down as AWOL.  You are not to leave the base camp without written permission, or a change of duty status chit. This is unacceptable. This is how we lose valuable photographers. Venturing off away from the ocean, to get near the sights, smells, and sounds of burning rubber.
I'll call of  the search patrol and tell them to stand down. Meanwhile, do you need supplies and ammo? Over.

If you can just get me a handful of Earl stuff as soon as possible that would be great. I previewed your Johnny Meehan shot.

So your fans are anxiously awaiting your gallery. So am I...

Stay safe and healthy...remember keep your head down and don't bunch up.


September 8, 2010

Case in point why I don't surf the Wall anymore (even though I'd like to) unless it is very late fall, early spring, or winter (and during the week).  Also what's up with the French Canadian invasion over the last 3 or so years?  Don't they have to drive 8 or 9 hours to get down here?  I asked one of them once why they don't just go to Nova Scotia and he said it was a further drive than the Seacoast from Montreal. Also have you noticed they don't shut up in the water?  They hoot and holler and talk and talk, last summer I blew up and told a group of them to shut the fuck up, that some people want to enjoy the sound of the ocean rather than hearing all the chatter. Until surfing isn't cool again we might be stuck with them.  Again the down side of Internet forecasting.


Maybe it's because I'm surfing every day for Molly, but I swear I've had more insane run-in's than ever before. And I suppose I am partly to blame. My weekly column with all the photos promoting surfing...I am guilty of that for sure. Though it's not as bad as the Internet Surf Forecasting. I just wish the Shops would hand out a RULE Book with each Soft Top.

And you would think that when there was some size the beginners would stay on the beach.  I surfed Earl down on the Cape and at a semi well known spot there were only between 6-10 guys out. If it was half the size there would have been 50.  The Wall used to be like that too...oh well winter is coming..  I am 31 and started surfing in 1990 so I was 11 years old the first time I was really dedicated to surfing.  It was in the summer and we had decent hurricane surf, I was out at Long Sands and got in someones way, he told me I was dangerous and needed to learn how to duck dive.  It was harsh and I was shamed but that moment changed me and forced me to figure out the rules.  I thank that unknown person to this day.  Unfortunately it doesn't seem like people are calling out beginners as much as they used to.  I see people take off on the inside and just ride behind the idiot. I hoot and holler so there is no question they are dropping in.  I feel like I don't see that anymore, everyone just goes.  If the waves suck I've taken the time to try to tell people nicely what they're doing wrong. (not so nice when the waves are good)  It seems years ago people would listen and learn.  Now a days, when I try that, I get a dumb and incredulous look like who the fuck do I think I am.  With the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man I miss the old days, the 90s for me ha!  Probably hard for you to see the early 90s as the old days huh?


I do my part enforcing the unwritten rules and code of far as your comment about the 90's being the old days? I'm closer to being 90, than I am missing the 90's...

September 7, 2010

Hi Ralph,

Great shots of the 2 hurricanes. You're a saint to get out of the 
water and behind the lens. Best documentation of the swells on the web.

Did you happen to get any shots on either weekend of a guy on a yellow 
SUP at The Wall? He was there on Sunday for Danielle and Saturday for 



Thanks...and no I did not see a guy on a Yellow Submarine I mean SUP,
why did I miss something?

September 7, 2010

Hey Ralph! Great post this week, the photos are sick!  I can't believe I missed it all by a week! Ahh well, you guys deserve it.  I loved the footage of Stevie-O, tell me you're going to post more video from the last few weeks?

Steve (California)

Thanks Steve. It's all about timing...maybe next year brother.

September 7, 2010

   I do not know how you do it.  Everything you do for the community, remarkable.  I don't have time to always read all or even some of your blog so I think you must have some sort of superpowers to write and compile it.  Great photos or Dani and Earl.   I feel the frustration in your story about the kook at the wall.  Crowds are thicker than ever and so the number of the ignorant and rude is greater and that makes the need for education and tolerance ever greater.  Right now I don't have the patience for crowds which is why I have not been at the Wall much at all or the R---s or F- Hill for that matter.

And yes I got a couple of those double overheads set waves.  Thank, God!  I am one grateful bodyboarder, when you create 10'-12 'peaks and by your grace I catch one that shoots me out of cannon and deposits me 150 yards further south 8-10 heartbeats later.
  An amiable "crowd" of 6 or 7 hot surfers and one old sponger and no photos.

Keep up the good work and God Bless you and all you love.

Doug S

Thanks Doug...sounds like you got it it pretty good yourself.

September 6, 2010

Thank you once again for SFR it was really an awesome day!!  Your energy is contagious!!!
what a great turn out as well
your the best!


Thank you

September 5, 2010

Hey Ralph!
Great meeting you yesterday and dig the site especially the 
"yesterday" section.  Looks like that was it for waves but hope to get 
out here again soon and get some more waves with you NH guys!
Hope you got good waves yesterday as well!
Johnny Noris (California)

It was great meeting you as well. I just posted the weekly and I have 3-4 shots of you. I have not checked the video yet...I've got too many things going on in my life at once. Glad you also had fun at the Surf Family Robinson Beach party for the kids...that's pretty funny stuff.  Next year will be 20 years...

Be good and get some good waves for me.

September 4, 2010

I constantly refer to Nelson Mandela, I find him to be one of the greatest speakers of our time. A lot of his words make more sense to me the older I get and the more of this world I see. He once said nothing is impossible until it's done.
Today I spent the day inside a garden of eden per se. A place with trees and shade, enclosed behind gates blocking out the hell the is Port of Prince. Inside were severly disabled children who were simply abandoned. I can't imagine their lives without this place. My first thought, and in reflection of Nicaragua was where do you even start? It seems like an impossible place to fix.
It chokes me up to watch others walk in to this country with strong hearts and the ultimate task of starting somewhere. Those who dedicate their lives to taking the impossible and making it happen. The spark in a childs eye who is finally loved may be the only payment they recieve but I find no greater earnings than that.
Pretty incredible day today, wish you were here

Nevins (Haiti)

Men throughout time have always faced daunting tasks and seem to overcome impossuble odds. That might very well be the case in Haitu, but not while you are there. Years from now. And unfortunately after many untimely deaths. Pain and suffering...there must be a reason.

September 4, 2010


I'm so jealous!  I'm here in southern California towards the end of summer, but it's pretty small and foggy this past week, and I'm thinking about pulling out my 4/3 because the water has been in the lower 50's for a month!  Then I see these pics you post of surfing awesome waves, in board shorts(!!), some 700-800 miles to the north!...definitely jealous.

Ha! Trust me, you won't be jealous in a few months.

September 4, 2010

Thanks Ralph,

     You have been very helpful.  I don't know you well, but from what I know you are an amazing man who gives of himself constantly with little fanfare, thank you for all that you do.


Thank you

September 4, 2010

Hi Ralph,

Just drove across the country, it's big. Tiny waves here but just looked at the cam and it looks like you are getting some great waves...

We're really going to miss the surf community in NH. To be honest, New England wasn't particularly kind to us but we always felt welcomed at the beach and to us, that was home. There is really something special there, which is most evident when everyone rallies around a cause or an individual who needs it.

Enjoy the weekend, I look forward to seeing the pics on Monday...


Thanks Michael. We will miss you guys. Hope you get some waves in Left Coast land.

September 3, 2010


I’ll be going back to West Point of 11 SEP so I’ll need to get up there for another event.  Enjoy the hurricane!

Tim W.

SSC Fellow Harvard Kennedy School

That was a great day. I really enjoy hosting that annual Wounded Warriors.
This HIT THE BEACH III event was one of the best. I spent four hours in the water
today. Hurricane Danielle has been good to us.

I'd be happy to have you come in and speak at one of our meetings. We are having our annual September 11th, ceremony next week. If you are free that night stop by. Otherwise stay in touch. Thank you sir again for your service to our country.

September 3, 2010

I had no idea, I'll leave it at that.
Haiti may be dealing with the most pain in this world right now. I have never seen anything like this and I'm sure it will take me awhile to figure out how to explain it all.
I just wanted to email you the only thought I continually feel.
We are so very fortunate.
All is well down here, it's an amazing experience. If you pray, please pray for these people.

Brian Nevins (Haiti)

This is some heavy stuff. I will post these images next week. You need a break brother.

September 3, 2010

Hey Ralph, Just wanted to say I had a great time surfing with you this morning. I don't know if you rember the time we surfed together at Freaks but I do like it was yesterday. Surfing to me is all about memories. I have so many of them and I love to play them back in my mind. The time we surfed Freaks is one that I replay a lot. Thanks again Steve, and I will see you in the water

That was fun, and how about the fact that we had it to ourselves out there? I was just telling an old friend about that this morning.

September 3, 2010

Did you already get your surf in?
Need to borrow my gun?
How do I make a contribution to Molly?
Rock (California)

Rocky there's an easy Paypal set-up on the Daily Blog Fpr Molly (see above).

September 3, 2010

Hey gang, the Surf Family Robinson event has been switched to Sunday.  The SFR event will take place on the beach directly across the street from Cinnamon Rainbows, and you can find more details on .  Enjoy the weekend and get some waves in the morning....
See ya'll Sunday!
Damn hurricanes ruining SFR (Wink wink)!

September 3, 2010

Hi Ralph
You rock Man.
You give so much love to the surf community.
Thanks from afar.
These pix are a sort of semi secret (close out ) with a reef and sand set up for 180-190 degree South swells... Gotta be Nuts to surf here though because Whitey cruises around especially Sept-October. 
I dont take many photos because I value the friends that I have made in 15 years along this coast.
Have fun this weekend in Rhode Island ...Goose wing Baby
Surf On Brother
Tony (California)

Thanks for the pic Tony...but I'm staying put for this swell.

September 2, 2010

Hi Ralph,
  Kirk Waddell from Morro Bay, Ca here. Jeff Chamberlain and I have been friends for a long time and he sends me links to your activities. I've got a friend locally who is a vet who is actively involved in similar, if not connected activities getting disabeled vets in the water up and down the California. Roy has his own  health issues that keep him from surfing as much as he would like. Helping others is a wonderful thing. I'll show Roy what's going in East Coast style in this department. He'll love it.
Keep up the good work. Peace, Kirk

I apologize. I was just going through my emails doing My "Dropping In On Ralph" section and saw this. I don't know how I missed it. I'm really sorry.
Jeff and I have been buddies for over 30 years. He's a great guy. We were the first to get the actual Wounded Warriors Surfing. Not bad for New England surfers...tell your buddy Roy I said hello and thank you for serving our country.

September 1, 2010

been a tough week!!!!!!!!!!!!
unfortunatley for me I cant  even get in the water for another three weeks cause of ear surgury..
as bad as i hate bum vibes i would trade your position for mine any day
how did all the situations end???? in your favor i hope!!!!!!!!!!!!

They ended peacefully, and we all lived happlily ever after.

September 1, 2010


Hi, I was one of the GWOT vets that came up to volunteer in the "Wounded Warriors Hit the Beach Program." It was great meeting you and being able to participate in such an amazing event!

You have some excellent surf photography and write ups on your page! I bet you are stoked as the waves have been great. I have surfed every morning since last Monday and I know that you have been out every day!

Semper Fi,

Thanks John for helping out. And thank you for your service. I'm glad you made it back
from the GWOT. Semper Fi Brother. Ralph

September 1, 2010

prayer in progress, eye to the sky....thanks!

Damn hurricanes ruining SFR!